Rufous-capped warbler

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Rufous-capped warbler
Rufous-capped Warbler - Panama H8O8781 (23053413302).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae
Genus: Basileuterus
B. rufifrons
Binomial name
Basileuterus rufifrons
(Swainson, 1838)
Basileuterus rufifrons map.svg
Range of B. rufifrons
  Year-round range

The rufous-capped warbler (Basileuterus rufifrons) is a New World warbler native from Mexico south to much of Central America, rarely occurring as far north as southeastern Arizona and south Texas.

Rufous-capped warblers generally reach a length of about 12.7 cm (5.0 in). They are plain-olive to olive-gray, with white underbellies, bright yellow chests and throats, and a distinctive facial pattern consisting of a rufous cap, a white eyebrow-line (or superciliary), a dark eye-line fading into a rufous cheek, and a white malar marking. The bill is rather stout for a warbler, the wings are round and stubby, and the tail is long, often raised at a high angle and flicked.

While rufous-capped warblers are generally birds of tropical shrubby highlands, North American sightings tend to be in oak woodland canyon bottoms, near running water, while the birds stay low in dense vegetation.

The courtship song of the rufous-capped warbler is a rapid, accelerating series of chipping notes (chit-chit-chit-chitchitchit), somewhat reminiscent of the rufous-crowned sparrow, while the call notes is a hard chik or tsik, often repeated. Like other New World warblers, this species does not actually warble. Male rufous‐capped warblers have complex songs with many syllable types shared both within and between males’ repertoires. The males also show seasonal, temporal and annual variation in their song use.[2]

Rufous-capped warblers primarily feed on insects and spiders, foraging through dense brush and scanning close to the ground for movement. They are not generally known to flycatch from perches.

Birds in the southern part of the range are by some authors split out as a separate species, chestnut-capped warbler (Basileuterus delattrii).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Basileuterus rufifrons". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Demko, A.D.; Mennill, D.J. (2019). "Rufous‐capped Warblers Basileuterus rufifrons show seasonal, temporal and annual variation in song use". Ibis. 161 (2): 481–494. doi:10.1111/ibi.12666.

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